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Destination Wedding Planning, Destination Wedding Tips, Wedding Invitations

For many many years wedding invitations came in two envelopes. If you want to save the trees and only use one envelope that is fine. Just remember, the purpose of the inner envelope was to indicate who is or is not invited to the wedding.

For example, the inner envelope might read Mr. and Mrs. Briscoe/Conner Briscoe. This indicates that one of the couple’s children are invited while the name of the younger child is omitted.

The inner envelope also offers a way to let it be known that a guest may bring someone by stating Nancy Briscoe/Guest. Guest should only be used if the name is not known while it can also be written Nancy Briscoe/Mary Smith. You can also add a note inside the envelope to indicate a guest is invited or even more personal is a phone call.

Remember that your invitations are for your destination wedding not for the vacation experience. Many guests decide to bring their children, their nanny or a grandmother to a destination wedding. As long as they understand who is invited to the wedding it is not in your control to dictate who can travel along.
So be very clear as to who is coming to the wedding, reception or wedding related activities. Then appreciate that your guests are spending quite a bit of money as well as vacation time coming to your destination wedding. Let them enjoy their vacation as they would like.

This is where communication is a must. Set up a group on Facebook to regularly update your guests if possible. You do know your family and friends so choose a way that you can easily update them without having to call 100 people.

Call 888-338-0852 to start planning your destination wedding and to organize your destination wedding travel

posted by admin on Destination Wedding Tour, Ireland Destination Wedding Photography, Wedding Photographers in Ireland, Wedding Tips

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Larry McMahon is one of Ireland’s top wedding photographers. Larry shared 3 of his wedding photography tips with me. These tips can really help you if you are planning a destination wedding in Ireland. Larry understands how to take the stress out of your wedding day. Be sure to take the time to take advantage of the opportunity to have your photos personalized by letting Larry get to know you personally.

Here are 3 tips to add to your wedding plan:

1. The importance of a good make-up artist and hair stylist. Larry recommends having the make-up artist and hair stylist come to your venue. First of all it is more relaxing for you since you don’t have to rush around. But it is also important if it is raining or windy outside. Once your hair and make-up is done you don’t want the weather to ruin it.

2. Larry stresses the importance of storytelling by your wedding photographer. What is your story? Larry can document your story with a good mix of directed and documented wedding shots. By meeting with Larry before your wedding you can become comfortable with being photographed. Larry will be able to tell your story through photographs.

3. After the wedding do you want a gorgeous handmade album or a DVD sitting on your coffee table? When family or friends come over they will often enjoy picking up your photo album to relive your wedding story with you. If you had a destination wedding perhaps they were not able to attend. Your family and friends will appreciate being able to see how awesome your wedding was through your photographs.

Choose a professional wedding photographer to work with you. A professional photographer that is familiar with your venue and the local weather will be able to select the best locations and the best time of day to make sure your pictures preserve those memories for a lifetime. Don’t leave these precious memories to chance make sure your photographer is included in your wedding budget.

I recommend bringing a photography list with you as well. Your photographer may not know you want a picture with your college roommates. Once the day is over you will not be able to go back in time to get that picture. It is also a loving gesture to ask your mother and mother in law if there are any photographs that they would like to request.

Call today to join our Ireland Destination Wedding Tour to meet and book your wedding photographer. 888-338-0852

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Call 888-338-0852 to plan your Ireland destination wedding or travel.
Galway is a city in western Ireland. It is in the province of Connacht. Galway is a youthful city with a large student population. I enjoyed visiting Galway and look forward to my next visit.
Here are 6 things to include in your visit to Galway. Many couples planning a destination wedding in Ireland choose western Ireland. Galway is a city that your guests could visit for a few days either before or after your wedding.
1. Eyre Square. This is Galway’s central public square. You will find it to be busy in all weather except for the harshest days. It is an enjoyable green square with sculptures and pathways. Walking on the pathways can be a nice break from shopping and sightseeing.
2. Spanish Arch. on the eastern bank of the Wolf Tone Bridge you will see the Spanish Arch. It probably was an extension of Galway’s medieval walls. The arch appears to have been a passageway by which ships could enter the city.
Today there are lawns along the river bank where both locals and visitors can gather. There are kayakers in the River Corrib.
3. Quay Street. As you walk down the cobblestone streets there is shopping and a variety of restaurants to enjoy. It is a bit touristy but there is a great selection of stores to look through for gifts and souvenirs. There is often music on the corners to enjoy. Make sure you put a few coins in the guitar case.
4. Salthill. We stayed on Salthill which was very convenient for taking the bus to the city center. it is a great place for jogging and for walking around the neighborhood.
The Salthill Promenade overlooks Galway Bay. On a clear day you can see the hills of County Clare across the bay.
5. Aran Islands. The 3 Aran Islands are situated at eh mouth of Galway Bay. They are famous for their landscape and heritage. The Irish (Gaelic) language is spoken here. Native born islanders are bilingual.
Ferries are available from both Galway and Clare.
6. Galway City Nightlife. The vibrant student population contributes to the liveliness of Galway. There is a variety of music every night to choose from. The pubs provide a warm friendly place to hang out while enjoying a great dinner and good music.
Sit close to the band and you might get invited to join in and play the bodhrán. This was a highlight for my husband. My highlight was singling along to “Galway Girl” in a pub in Galway. I told my husband to pinch me!
Call 888-338-0852

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“The Real Capitalof Ireland is Cork? The residents of Cork say their city is more Irish whereas Dublin is “more English.” But of course you have to visit both cities to make your own decision. Many visitors overlook Cork which is located in the south west region of Ireland in the province of Munster. If you are driving from Dublin to Killarney you will drive past Cork without realizing what you are missing.
Facts about Cork:
*Cork is Ireland’s largest county
*Cork has had its city charter for over 800 years
*Cork has the second largest harbor in the world
*Food capital of Ireland
*Hourly rail service from Dublin
*1100 km of coastline
*West Cork, is one of the prettiest and least discovered parts of Ireland
*The climate is considered mild and changeable
Cork was listed by Lonely Planet 2010 as one of the top 10 MUST see cities in the world. It is a vibrant city with sightseeing, shopping and nightlife. But by driving only an hour or two away you can be out in the isolated countryside. In this way Cork has the best of both worlds.
Top Things to do in Cork
*Visit Jameson Distillery in Midleton
*Visit the Titanic Museum in Cobh-the last port of call of the Titanic
*Take a walking tour of Spike Island-Ireland’s Alcatraz
*Enjoy and sample the foodie culture
*Check for music festivals
*Whale and Dolphin Watching
*Kayak, surf, biking and golf are all easily available
*Visit Blarney Castle
*There are castles and manor houses perfect for your destination wedding
Are you considering Cork or the surrounding area for your destination wedding? Join our Destination Wedding Tour this October to discover Ireland’s hidden gems. Meet the passionate people who will help you to plan the fairytale wedding of your dreams. Ask for Nancy 888-338-0852

posted by admin on Destination Wedding Tour, Destination Weddings, Flights, Ireland, Romantic Getaways, Travel Tips, Wedding Tips

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You are both so excited you have agreed on a destination wedding. Have you selected your venue or even the country yet? How can travel and distance affect your destination wedding and your guests? Remember that the time it takes to travel to the destination can affect them. I will share 3 things to consider when choosing your destination. These things affect your guests more than you because they generally do not stay in the destination as long. It does depend on the destination though. However, if it is a country on their bucket list I have seen people make an exception and go off on their own vacation after the wedding.
Travel Distance.
Since you know where your guests live it is easier to research the time and distance. How long will it take them to get to the destination? How long are the flights? Are you inviting them for a long weekend? I personally tell guests they can make it their vacation by traveling to other places after the wedding weekend.
Distance from the airport.
It is best to advise your guests to fly into the closest international airport. It may not be as widely known but closer is better. For example, in Ireland, is Dublin the closest airport or can they fly into Cork, Shannon or Belfast? If the flight is a red-eye you don’t want to ask your guests to drive 2 or 3 more hours. Can a van or bus be arranged to pick up the group? Can the van or bus stop so they can eat?
Time of Year.
Even though summer is popular for weddings it is usually one of the most expensive times of year for travel. May or October can be less expensive for travel. If you are traveling in off-season remember many attractions will be closed especially in Europe.
All of these factors are worth considering before you send out your save the date cards. Your wedding is unique and so are your guests but there are things such as travel and costs that can be factored in.

posted by admin on Airlines, Destination Wedding Tour, Destination Weddings, Travel Tips

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Happy travel

Airlines have cut back on the services offered. You can still have a comfortable flight by planning ahead.
But make sure when planning ahead that you check the expiration date on your passport. it is your responsibility to have current identification as well as any visas required.
Bring your medications in the original containers if possible. I have also brought the doctor’s written prescription when I didn’t have the container. Liquid medications still have to abide by the 3-1-1 rule. If in doubt you can check the TSA website as or call the airlines. Always have your medications with you because your flight can be delayed or worse yet your checked bag can be lost. You can also put toiletries in your carry on also. I like to have a toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant. You can buy these things after you have gone through security.
Things to Do
I read that flying forces us to have personal time. People use their forced personal time in different ways with some people napping, some reading and some listening to music or playing games. Since the airlines doesn’t provide many of the things you want bring them with you. Bring your earphones, IPOD, IPAD or laptop. Just remember to charge your electronic devices before you start on your trip. Also bring your chargers with you so you can enjoy the return flight.
Snacks, Meals and Drinks
The airlines doesn’t provide food and snacks like they used to. One bag of pretzels will not hold you on a cross country flight. I always travel with trail mix and dried food in unopened bags. To save money I buy a sandwich and a large water after I pass through security. Be courteous to your fellow passengers by not bringing smelly food on board. I read that fried chicken was one of the worst offenders.
Be Comfortable
Because pillows and blankets are not passed out anymore plan ahead for your own comfort. If you are going to be reading bring a neck pillow. Since the cabin can be chilly I bring a sweater and a pair of socks. Even if you are headed to a tropical destination the cabin can be chilly.
Credit Cards
If you want to purchase anything on your flight the airlines no longer accept cash. So make sure your credit card is handy.

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Wedding Planner

Am I obligated to pay the travel expenses for my bridal party and/or family when I have a destination wedding?

This is a good question that should be discussed as a couple even before you announce you are planning to have a destination wedding.
Three things to Discuss in the conversation would be:
1. Deal breaker. Is there someone in your family or your BFF that is so important you would change your wedding plans if they could not afford to attend? So make up a list of the most important people on your guest list so you can consider that possibility.
2. Budget. Look at your budget realistically to see if you can afford to help pay anyone’s travel expenses. Remember you already are paying for the wedding and the reception as well as your own travel expenses.
3. Guilt. Will you feel guilty asking your family and friends to pay several thousand dollars per person to attend your wedding? It depends on how you look at because the other part of the picture is that your family and friends are going to have a wonderful vacation as a group. Most families and friends do not travel together but it is really fun to hang out and do things together. The benefit is no one is playing host or hostess to the group each day.

I have worked with couples planning destination weddings since 1999. I have seen couples work out helping their families and friends in many ways. I will share with you the two most popular ways that I see couples helping financially.
1. Discount. Many couples help by giving some what we call a family discount. This discount can be applied to any guest or family member. I have worked with couples who call it a “family discount” or a “bridal party discount.” What this means is that they put money towards the total. The selected person doesn’t actually know their true total because I give them the total after the discount. The discount is typically 100 to 150 dollars. So for example if the brides maids room total was $1000 a person. I would tell them that they get a bridal party discount so their total is $900. Most of the time the guests do not compare room rates so they don’t know the exact amount that was paid.
2. Group Amenities. Many wedding couples I work with sign a group contract for the guest rooms. This gives them the rooms they need at a contracted rate. It protects against price increases and many times offers guests a payment plan. But I always ask what group amenities will be offered to the Bride and Groom. Most of the time the amenities are either room upgrades or free nights. The couple then can share the amenities with their group.
Whether or not you pay anything towards the travel expenses of your family or guests is a personal decision. There is no right or wrong answer. You know your family and friends best and that will help you in your decision.

posted by admin on Destination Bridal Tours, Destination Wedding Tour, Destination Weddings, Engagement, Travel Tips, Wedding Tips

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Engagement ring

You are engaged! Of course you are so excited! So the first thing you are going to do is announce your engagement to your family and friends! A small tip is to get your nails done because everyone is going to be looking at your ring.

When you announce your engagement the two most frequently asked questions will be “have you set the date?” And “where will you get married?”

There is nothing wrong with enjoying the bliss of being newly engaged and responding I don’t know yet.

One of the first things to do should be spending time as a couple to discuss your budget. It is a good idea to start the discussion right away even though realistically it will be a series of discussions. If the two of you are paying for your wedding it is good to be on the same page throughout the planning process. You will have different opinions and priorities. I think a good place to start is if each of you write down your top 3 (or pick your own number) priorities.
Here is an example:

You, as the bride, choose your dress, the venue and the caterer while your groom selects the venue, music and honeymoon. This helps you set your priorities.

Secondly, you have to be realistic about the costs. You can’t just pull numbers out of the air. You cannot budget $500 for the photographer if there isn’t anyone for that price. On the other hand, when you meet with vendors you need to carefully look at what is included in the price. Some vendors give you a really cheap price but it doesn’t include things important to you. Or the quality isn’t what you want. Many times, you will find that the lower price equals lower quality.

The third thing to discuss should be deciding on the type of venue even if you haven’t reserved the exact one. This is often one of the most expensive elements of the wedding budget. At this point some couples start looking at a destination wedding.
You can research destinations and prices online but for many couples this can be overwhelming. If you have not been to the destination are you comfortable picking by a picture and a price?

This is where the experience of a destination wedding travel specialist can really help. A destination wedding specialist has first-hand knowledge of many wedding locations as well as established relationships with vendors at the destination wedding location. For couples who would like to travel to the destination to meet wedding vendors and look at wedding venues in person we have destination wedding tours.

Call Nancy at 1-888-338-0852 for more information on Destination weddings and Destination wedding tours.

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Tidbits and Fun Facts Friday

I enjoyed an article by Monica Poling entitled “Celebrating 100 Years.”

“By all accounts, 1914 was a turbulent time in world history.

The first World War broke out on the European continent and in North America, Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata were calling for revolution throughout Mexico.

Despite the world unrest 1914 was also a time of great discovery and innovation.  A particularly significant year in the growth of tourism, the United States witnessed the birth of two new tourism industries that year.

In Florida, former St. Petersburg Mayor Abram Pheil spent $400 ($5000 in today’s currency) to be the first passenger to fly on a commercial air flight, a 23-minute flight between St. Petersburg and Tampa. Florida.

Meanwhile, in Hibbing Minnesota, Carl Erick Wickman used his eight=seat Hupmobile to transport 15 iron miners to a nearby mining town for 15 cents a ride.  The shuttle service, which took place well before the nation adopted a federal highway system, is now considered the first inter-city bus transportation.  Wickman would go on to transform his transportation company into the massive enterprise known as Greyhound bus lines.

Cruise travel also became more lavish in 1914, when Cunard Line’s Aquitania sailed her maiden voyage.  Considered one of the most beautiful liners ever built, she was one of the longest-serving Cunarders in history and the only major liner to serve in both world wars.

The Port of San Francisco

Along the San Francisco waterfront, several buildings were constructed in 1914, including the historic Pier 43 Ferry Arch.  The new Pier 43 Promenade Bay trail project, now under construction, will connect Pier 39 with Taylor Street’s historic crab sellers.  Once complete later this year, it will feature excellent views of the bay and the historic arch.

Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf

Some 70 miles south of San Francisco and 40 miles north of Monterey, visitors will find the birthplace of mainland surfing, the city of Santa Cruz.  The city is home to the Santa Cruz Wharf, which is 2. 701 feet, is one of the longest wooden piers in California.  Constructed in 1914, the Municipal Wharf is actually the city’s sixth wharf.  None of the preceding piers could accommodate deep-water sips, so the current one was built with a steamship dock and freight warehouse.  The wharf hosts an estimated 1.5 millions visitors every year, and is featuring centennial celebrations all year long.

Port of Los Angeles

Significant improvements to the Port of Los Angeles in the years prior, including construction of an 8.500-foot section of breakwater, the widening of the main channel and construction of an all-new marine traffic generated by the opening of the Panama Canal.

The city’s movie industry was also in full swing.  Paramount Pictures was founded in Los Angels in 1914, and the “The Squaw Man,” by Cecil B. DeMille, became the first motion picture to be produced in Hollywood by a major film studio.  In Venice, California, Charlie Chaplin rolled out his famed “The Tramp” character.”

This was a great article in Travel Age West Magazine, March 04, 2014 issue.

A tidbit to watch:

*New proposed bill would allow airline ads to exclude government taxes.  This is a good bill to watch.

The bill, The Transparent Airlines Act of 2104,(H.R. 4156), responds to airline carriers that the DOT policy makes fares appear higher than they are, while “masking the excessive federal tax rate on the cost of air travel,” according to Airlines for America, the trade group representing U.S. airlines.


United Airlines is getting tough with passengers with oversized carry-on bags, even sending some of them back to the ticket counter to check their luggage for a fee.  Some passengers have suggested this is for the airlines to make money.  The airlines says it is simply ensuring that compliant passengers have space left for them in the overhead bins.  In recent years, the last passengers have routinely been forced to check their bags at the gate because the overhead bins were already full.

You may have purchased a bag that claims to be “official carry-on size” but you need to check each airlines website because that claim can be misleading.



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